NAM was initiated to sustain peace within the developing nations but it also aimed at gaining economic stability and sufficiency in the member nations. During the years the focus of Non-Aligned Summits therefore shifted away from essentially politically issues, to the advocacy of solutions to global economic and other problems. Later submits of NAM were all the more concentrated on conducive policies for economic development utilizing and strengthening South-South cooperation. The Summit of Jakarta in 1992 was a turning point in Non-Aligned history since this was the first Summit after the end of the Cold War. It allowed the Movement to shift its focus in a direction that also enabled it to work across to groupings such as the G-7 and the EU.

The founders of the Non-Aligned Movement and their successors recognised that the Movement would probably be destroyed if they created such formal structures for the Movement as a constitution and internal secretariat. A multilateral trans-national organisation made up of states with differing ideologies and purposes could never create a rational administrative structure to implement its policies that all could accept.

The Non-Aligned Movement has created a unique form of administrative style. Non-Aligned administration is non-hierarchical, rotational and inclusive, providing all member states, regardless of size and importance, with an opportunity to participate in global decision-making and world politics. The Summit is the occasion when the Movement formally rotates its Chair to the Head of State of the host country of the Summit, who then holds office until the next Summit. The Chair is at the same time also delegated certain responsibilities for promoting the principles and activities of the Movement.

The Coordinating Bureau is the vocal point for coordination. The Bureau reviews and facilitates the harmonisation of the work of the NAM Working Groups, Contact Groups, Task Forces and Committees.The Heads of State or Government entrusted the Coordinating Bureau with the task of intensifying its actions to further strengthen coordination and mutual cooperation among Non-Aligned countries, including unified action in the United Nations and other international foray on issues of common concern. All NAM Working Groups, Contact Groups, Task Forces and Committees meet as often as necessary. In the fulfillment of their mandates due regard is paid to coordination, efficiency and preparedness.

It is necessary that the NAM countries elected to the Security Council, and who form the NAM Caucus in the Security Council, constantly strive to adopt unified positions, and that the decisions and the positions of NAM as adopted at its Summits and Ministerial Conferences and by the Coordinating Bureau be properly reflected by them in the Security Council, without prejudice to their sovereign rights. In order to promote coordination and cooperation between the NAM and the Group of 77 in promoting the interests of developing countries in international forum, a Joint Coordinating Committee of the two groups was established in 1994, which meets regularly in New York.

The practice of the Movement is to make all decisions by consensus. Consensus has enhanced the solidarity and unity of the Movement. This concept presupposes understanding of and respect for different points of view, including disagreement and implies mutual accommodation on the basis of which agreement can emerge by a sincere process of adjustment among member nations in the true spirit of Non-Alignment. The Cartagena Document on Methodology states that consensus, while signifying substantial agreement, does not require implying unanimity. In sensitive issues, the NAM tradition is to pay attention to openness and the holding of extensive consultations with the broadest possible participation. The Bureau of the Meeting, with its representative capacity, should render its assistance.